Book 1 Skill Upgrades

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Book 1 Skill Upgrades

Mensaje por Shabnam el Miér 17 Feb 2010, 07:25

With the launch of Siege of Mirkwood™ behind us, the systems team’s bandwidth has increased. When we looked at our list of “things we want to do,” sitting right on top was “add level 64 skill upgrades.” So here we are! The new combat system has had some time to mature, and we are feeling more comfortable with making additions to players’ skills. As with SoM, these all represent upgrades to an existing skill, which can be purchased from your class trainer at level 64 (with the notable exception of the Warden, who gains a totally new Gambit.)

Before we get into the skills themselves, it’s worth mentioning the design goals we had for this project. The goals were, in order:
1. Enhance underused skills.
2. Give bonuses that are exciting.
3. Don’t greatly alter relative class balance.

With those goals in mind, let’s look at the skills we’re adding and how they came about.

Burglar:
Mischievous Delight replaces Mischievous Glee and gains a 25% chance to add a Power over time restoration in addition to the heal over time.

The increased speed of combat in SoM has hit the classes differently, and a common Burglar complaint has been low power. While Mischievous Glee is not an underused skill, it is one that many have complained did not scale well past level 50. A 20% chance for the PoT (Power over Time) was added because we wanted to make the restoration amount as high, and be affected by the various mods that increase the HoT (Healing over Time). So, to be clear, all buffs that increase Mischievous Glee’s healing, will also increase the Power restoration!

Captain:
Watchful Shield-brother replaces Shield-brother and gains a buff to max morale and power.

While Shield-brother is a well-used skill by many Captains, some were less than diligent with placing it on a fellowship member or Herald. To ‘sweeten the deal’, we decided to tack a buff on to the Shield-brother effect. The skill now provides a moderate amount of in-combat morale and power regeneration. This buff is not massive, as it is on a maintenance free toggle skill, and will assist with both healing and power costs on a lucky fellowship member!

Champion:
True Heroics replaces Heroics and gains a self-buff based on your active stance.

Heroics is a skill that has often been looked down on by Champions. The Champion class is inherently a very self-oriented class. It does not throw buffs or heals on other players; most of their skills enhance their own damage! When Heroics was created, it was envisioned as a way for Champions to dabble in some fellowship support in the form of granting power to allies. It is, in fact, a much more efficient skill then the ubiquitous Lore-master skill, Share the Power. Granted, its cooldown is long, but being able to throw around 300 or so power to EACH member of your fellowship is huge!

So, in Book 1, True Heroics will now also grant the Champion 30 second self buffs, based on the stance they are in. We hope that this will make you want to click that button more!
  • Fervour - +30% incoming healing
  • Glory - +15% melee damage
  • Ardour - +60% to in-combat Power regeneration


PS: Using this skill with no stance will give no buff. So don’t do that.

Guardian:
Warrior's Fortitude replaces Warriors Heart and gains a self-buff based on your stance.

Warrior’s Heart is a good skill, but it’s a fairly weak ‘panic button’ on a class that already has a boat-load of panic skills. I really enjoyed the stance-switching on the Champion (which I borrowed from the Hunter’s Quick Shot skills), so I brought that over to the Guardian. The two have some big differences though; Warriors Heart has legacies and traits that can increase the duration and reduce the cooldown. As a result, these buffs are weaker, but if you build you character the right way, you can keep them up for a large portion of the fight. Try it out!
  • Block – Increase block and partial block by 1% each (not rating, a flat increase that will stack with everything!)
  • Parry – Increase parry and partial parry by 1% each
  • Threat – 2% decreased incoming damage from all sources
  • Overpower – Increase melee critical by 2%



Hunter:
Beneath Care replaces Beneath Notice. The power cost of the skill has been removed and now restores power over time.

Much like Burglars, power concerns have been a major Hunter concern lately. While Strength of the Earth has been greatly enhanced (and if you are having power troubles and NOT using it, I have little sympathy for you), many Hunters do not appreciate needing to slow down their attacks for the duration of the skill. To fill this desire and also introduce some tension, I decided to add a chunk of power restoration to Beneath Notice, as well as totally remove its power cost! I like this skill a lot, as it forces a Hunter to ask himself, “Do I want to use Beneath Care now to keep using my skills, or save it for later if I pull agro?”

Lore-master:
Continual Air-Lore replaces Air-lore. This skill is now a toggle skill with a power upkeep cost.

Air-lore is a perfect example of a strong skill that is underused. This is mostly because of the way it is structured – it’s hard to remember to re-apply a buff every minute. If you are willing to make that mental investment, you can provide a respectable amount of extra damage in a fight, especially if you put it on a tank class in a large group fight! For the level 64 version of the skill, we removed the need to remember to re-apply the buff by making it a toggle. To keep the skill balanced, an upkeep cost was added which is lower than the power cost of re-applying the skill once every minute.

Minstrel:
Lyric of the Hammerhand replaces Lay of the Hammerhand and will now negate all induction knockback. Note this does not prevent interruption effects.

I’ll admit, I did not want to upgrade this skill because I think it’s neat having a skill called a “Lay” in the game. However, the skill just filled goal #2 (give bonuses that are exciting) so well! A number of Minstrels have looked with envy at the Rune-keeper’s ability to avoid knockback, so here is a toggle skill of your own. However, remember that Lay has a long cooldown, drains a lot of power to keep active, drains even more power when you are hit and is turned off if you are stunned. That said, you now have on demand knockback immunity. Enjoy!

Rune-keeper:
Armaments of “Element” replaces Weapon of “Element” and adds a bonus to tactical and ranged damage.

Weapon of “Element” remains a skill that is not used very often, so it seemed like an obvious choice to upgrade. The amount of the buff is not very large, but as with Shield-brother, this is a toggle skill that already grants other bonuses. That said, you can now choose to spend some power on upkeep to gain a bonus in tactical damage. Sounds like an exchange that is worth some consideration!

Warden:
Unerring Strike is a new 5 Spear gambit that is difficult to block, parry or evade and leaves a damage over time effect that stacks with other Spear gambits.

This skill is very much an upgraded version of Mighty Blow. It has the same Gambit requirements, with one more spear on the end to make it 5 (Spear, Shield, Fist, Spear, Shield). It bypasses enemy avoidances, and leaves a common damage DoT on the foe. This damage over time effect will stack with the other two spear-based DoT’s, Mighty Blow and Power Attack, to help fulfill all your DoT stacking desires!

Welp, that looks like it! Hope you guys all enjoy these updates, and all the other goodies coming in Book 1. Like always, we will be monitoring the effectiveness of the skills and make whatever changes we need, but reactions during testing have been positive. Have fun! <- va con coñas ¿no? Suspect

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Shabnam

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